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Sen. Gonzalez's Oil Policy Costs Long Beach $300M in Revenue

The City of Long Beach faces a significant financial crisis due to legislation introduced by State Senator Lena Gonzalez, which has led to the projected loss of over $300 million in oil and gas revenue over the next decade. This legislation, often called the "Lena Gonzalez gas price increase," will severely impact the city's budget, affecting public safety, mental health services, and coastal maintenance and recreation.

A recent audit revealed that the city could lose between $278 million and $301 million in revenue. This loss will require deep service cuts or higher taxes.

Currently, revenue from 2,762 oil wells supports essential services, with 41% of this revenue funding the general fund for basic services like police, fire, parks, and libraries.

The decline in oil revenue, the loss of pandemic recovery funds, and rising wage and pension costs will add to a general fund budget deficit of $44.8 million over the next three years.

Increasing revenue through revenue options such as doubling business license fees and increasing property sales taxes has met resistance due to concerns about economic development and housing affordability.

The City Council will continue to gather feedback and research options, aiming to finalize decisions by August 6.

Read the full story in the Long Beach Post.


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